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Mole in lawn

Moles in Lawns

Have you ever noticed raised tunnels in your lawn or garden? Those tunnels could be caused by moles—small mammals with pointed snouts and large frontal feet for moving soil out of their way. While mole damage can frustrate gardeners, the damage is usually temporary, and moles can actually be beneficial.

Moles can live underground in areas, such as lawns, golf courses and parks. In addition to their hairless snouts, moles have powerful front teeth and fur that points up. Both of these features make it easier for moles to navigate through soil.

Although moles can destroy the look of your lawn, they are actually helpful in reducing pest populations. Moles feed on insects that can harm plants, such as mole crickets, beetle larvae and ants. They also paralyze earthworms, and store them as alternative food sources. Additionally, moles in lawns aerate soil, pushing it from the deep burrows they create up to the surface in small mounds.

Controlling Moles

Moles may be able to decrease pest populations and loosen soil, but that doesn’t mean some people can tolerate the cosmetic damage moles do to their yards. If you suspect mole activity, you can try trapping them or reducing their food source (soil insects). Moles in lawns prefer to tunnel in damp soils, so reducing the intensity and frequency of water on your landscape may also help. However, homeowners should try to accept mole activity—if you see tunnels, simply press the soil back in place.

For more information on moles in lawns or gardens, read the article "Moles" or contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office.

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